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Workplace Violence Legislation Passes Senate

Michigan Nurses Association Press Release, 6/12/13

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Nurses seek better protection while providing quality care

LANSING -- The Michigan Nurses Association is pleased to announce the passage of the Workplace Violence bills, SB 250 and SB 360, out of the Senate today. The bills were sponsored by Senator Goeff Hansen (R-34).

The Workplace Violence bills will make assaulting a health care professional performing his or her duties a felony charge. The charge carries either a fee, jail time or both as follows:

1. An individual who assaults, batters, wounds or endangers a health care worker who is performing his or her duties is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment or a fine or both. The penalty for this is not more than two years of prison or a fine of not more than $2,000 or both.

2. An assault that causes a bodily injury requiring medical attention or medical care is a felony punishable by not more than four years of prison or a fine of not more than $5,000 or both.

3. An assault that causes serious impairment of a body function is a felony punishable by not more than 15 years of prison or a fine of not more than $10,000 or both.

4. An assault that causes death is a felony and punishable by not more than 20 years of prison or a fine of not more than $20,000 or both.

"I'm pleased that the Workplace Violence bill has passed the Senate," said Terri Thuss, a registered nurse from Alpena who is now permanently injured from being assaulted by a patient. "Once this bill is signed into law, nurses and other health care professionals will have the assurance that unsafe behavior will not be tolerated and that they are protected."

These bills will now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.

"Nurses and health care professionals already have high workloads with patients whose care is highly complex, said Jeff Breslin, RN, MNA president. "Having the threat of violence present distracts our ability to provide the quality of care that Michigan patients deserve. These bills are an excellent way to address workplace violence by raising awareness of how nurses can better care for their patients in a safer environment."

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The Michigan Nurses Association is the state’s largest and most effective union and professional association for registered nurses, representing nearly 11,000 RNs statewide and advocating for them and their patients.

 

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